My partner and I headed to Public in Manuka for dinner on Saturday night. With no reservation, we easily got a table outside under the heaters.
Let’s go straight to my favourite part of any meal – DESSERT!
A friend recommended I try out the peanut butter baklava ($12) for dessert, mentioning that it was not a baklava in any way. Curious and with a love for weird stuff, I ordered it. When it came out, it looked pretty awesome. The best way to describe this dessert is that it’s like a deconstructed snickers bar. OMG it was gooooood. Yummy big scoop of chocolate icecream sitting on top of what I think is a peanut butter semifreddo. (The semifreddo I’ve had are usually quite hard to dig into, and this one was very easy to dig my spoon in so I’m not not quite sure if it was semifreddo but it’s the only thing I can think of). The semifreddo was velvety smooth and creamy but I didn’t find it too rich. Liquid salted caramel surrounds the island of semifreddo and ice cream with a scattering of roasted peanuts. To me, this tasted like a snickers bar. YUM! I absolutely loved it. Hands down the best dessert I’ve had in a while.
We couldn’t figure out why it’s named the peanut butter baklava as it’s almost misleading. You would expect layers of pastry with a sweet syrup and perhaps a peanut butter mousse or icecream incorporated in. Not a heavenly deconstructed snickers bar.
It’s quite a big dessert and can be shared between two (especially after the filling jambalaya) though I must admit if I was really hungry, I’d be fighting anyone for the whole thing. My partner who isn’t a sweets person, stated this was a dessert where he’d lick the entire plate clean. He just used the spoon to get as much off the plate as he could since we were in public at Public.
Now back to the mains – there were quite a few choices on the menu that I would’ve liked to try. I settled on the jambalaya – a spicy New Orleans dish with risotto, capsicum, chorizo, chicken and prawns ($28). Expecting pub food quality, I was surprised at how good this was! After only a few bites, the chilli started tingling in my mouth. The two big prawns had absorbed the sauce of the jambalaya and were full of flavour. There was plenty of chicken and spicy chorizo. The risotto was cooked well and didn’t have any glugginess to it. I was glad I had a lemon, lime and bitter to sip on as it slowly got a bit too spicy for me. I managed to finish most of it before reluctantly letting my partner have the rest as the chilli had finally gotten to me. Note there were no actual chillies in it just a lot of chilli powder.
My partner ordered the linguine ($32). It didn’t look like much coming out with two prawns and some clams. However the fettuccine was cooked al dente, the creamy sauce was light and had a slight lemony taste to it and the prawns and clams worked well in the dish. My partner was satisfied with his meal.
Food was surprisingly quick to come out on a busy Saturday night. The wait staff behind the bar were kind enough to advise there was a 20 minute wait for food and it was an exact estimate for when it did come out. The service was prompt and you don’t even need to open the door as the doorman does it all for you.
Highly recommend the not-peanut butter baklava/snickers bar dessert. At only $12 it’s a bargain. What have you got to lose?